Turn Shock into a Positive Shift

Are you running a business or managing a team that’s navigating a big change?

This article is for you.

In the midst of an unforeseen change in a business it is easy to fall into fight or flight mode. If an impact occurs such as a loss of a founder, key employee or important supplier — how do you stay in control and how can you efficiently continue to move forward?

Learn how to remain calm, re-focus and pull your team together to keep your culture and your sanity during a big shift by following these five steps.

1. Create and communicate your message

Employees might be hearing lots of chatter through the company about what is or will be happening. As a leader, you need to be the one directing the news and stating the message clearly — both internally and externally.

Step one is to host a team call and send your message to your clients. This isn’t just a pep talk, it is a message to establish reassurance, trust and comfort among both groups.

It’s crucial as a leader to be open and available during this time for questions and let your team and clients know that you hear their concerns and you’re dedicated to leading them all through this change.

2. Tighten-up internally

If you don’t have a chain of command in order, or even if you do and it needs a re-org, now is the time to clear any grey areas so people know exactly who to turn to when they need support.

Clearly defined roles keep people accountable for their work and to each other. At Leverage, we used a tool called Pingboard to create an organized and easy to read chart.

Sample of a Pingboard Chart

3. Organize your tools

What is your internal communication tool, and how could it be costing you money and time? We are big fans of Slack, and use it every day as a means to communicate with our team and our clients. But that doesn’t mean we were fully optimizing the way we used it…until now.

Slack is a great tool, but like anything, it’s not just the tool — it matters how you use it. By digging through your internal tools you might find too many users, duplicate users or several different chats happening all across a platform that could be unified into one or two locations.

In Slack you organize this by “channel.” Channels can be public so anyone can join, and for more private matters you can set certain channels to private. Doing a clean up like this could mean hundreds of savings for the company each month.

Sample of Slack organization

The same advice goes for other items such as: social media channels, blog, YouTube, podcasts and webinars. During this time review your tactics, prioritize them and make them reflect one another.

4. Become client-centric

Clients are always at the forefront during this process, which is why a solid and established company during a time of change is a really big deal. Clients will sense disfunction if things aren’t running properly.

Think of this plan as the air mask on an airplane scenario. You need to put your air mask on first before you will be able to help anyone else. In this case, once you know you are set internally you begin to hone in on what will resonate best with your clients. Since you’re starting fresh you can get creative in this step.

Choose your top lines of communication, for example webinars, Slack communities and direct email messages. Then develop a list of interesting topics and begin creating content specifically geared to engage and retain your audience.

5. Continuously refine

Once your company gets over the big metaphorical hill, you’ll be sitting with your most dedicated team members and clients — that right there is the light at the end of the tunnel. During this phase when you’re working fluidly together, it’s time to refine what is in place and tweak it until it’s optimized, automated and efficient.

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